Although the traveling up and back were a wonderful bonus for this trip, the real purpose was to visit family. Some cousins I have seen in the last couple of years and have RV'd with in Texas, others I haven't seen for a really long, long time.
I was lucky enough to stay with my cousin Shirley and her husband Jack. They live in Strathmore, Alberta where we had a great week of visiting. We reconnected a number of years ago when Shirley and Jack spent quite a bit of time in Texas. Here Shirley is fixing a huge tray of beef for a family get-together.
My 89 year old Aunt Doreen flew in from British Columbia so we could meet again after many years. As my mother's sister, she is the only relative I have left from my parents generation. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see her again. Doesn't she look wonderful?
My cousin Ken along with Marilyn flew in with my Aunt Doreen. I had not seen Ken since I was a kid.....he remembered that it was 1962. We hook up on FB occasionally and I love seeing pictures of travels he and Marilyn take. Thank-you so much Ken for bringing Aunt Doreen and coming yourself as well as bringing Marilyn.
My cousin Janice and her husband Stan drove down from Red Deer. It was so great to get together again and meet Stan. My Mom used to take me and my brothers to Canada every summer when we were young. Well, that was just a few years ago.....right Janice? lol
My cousin's daughter Krissi brought her boyfriend Matt. It is so nice to put a face to a name. My Son Steve is the guy in purple.
Just a few of us gathered together at Shirley and Jack's.
I should have had someone else take this picture with me in it too as it is probably a once in a lifetime picture of all of us together at one time.
The next day, we had another get-together at Shirley's other daughter Lisa's house. Steve and Lisa have gotten to be great friends in addition to being second cousin's once removed or some ridiculous relationship like that. Steve and Helen stayed with Lisa and Charity and this was their second visit to Calgary to visit. Just a few of the crew at Lisa's.
Charity's family was also there so we had quite a crowd.
Angus the Therapy Dog traveled with us to Canada after a special invitation from Charity. He got along with their three dogs and was very curious about the cat who tolerated his curiosity.
There was plenty of food for all including some neighbors and friends of Lisa's son Ben in the red shirt.
One of the highlights of the day was a water balloon fight in the back yard. Ben had a birthday a few weeks ago but he really wanted to wait and have his birthday party after "Uncle" Steve arrived. They are definitely buds. Teams were planned in advance. Some of us got to be spectators. The view from the balcony deck was great.
Each team had a pile of small water filled balloons.
The players really got into the game.
The adults as much as the kids.......
There was a big birthday cake.
I think Ben had a great birthday.
Ben and "Uncle" Steve.......
It was a really great party for Ben and for all of us from Texas to get together with our Canadian relatives and friends. We can't thank Shirley and Jack as well as Lisa and Charity enough for inviting us to visit.
I just realized that I missed getting a picture of Glen, my youngest Canadian cousin who drove all the way down from the northern part of Alberta on Saturday just so we could meet up again (and visit his other relatives as well, lol). He was really young the last time I saw him. Thanks so much Glen.